This year seems to be the year of war and wary owing to the prevailing regional and global issues. I am so much worried to the extent that I asked whether people are yearning for third world war. But for whose benefit?
The memories of the first and the second world wars are still fresh in the minds of the current generation whose grand-parents were affected by these conflicts. This progressive generation is not ready and prepared for another world or regional war.
The youthful generation who have not yet enjoyed freedom need a life full of hope, forgiveness and welfare society based on the principle of brother and sister’s keeper. It is unfortunate to see states rising against themselves or against other states due to sheer greed and petty political grievances.
I think the mother earth is spacious to accept and accommodate every individual in every corner of the globe. The resources are in plenty. But some people opted to deprive and deny others of their right share of wealth of their countries. Another critical issue is that some people are used to some archaic political and religious dogmas of destruction.
For instance, the dictatorial regimes have often refused to grant citizens their inalienable human rights and freedom of expression, hence causing civil unrest and death in the world. The insatiable lust for power and money on the part of the decision-makers and political leaders is the cause of fear and insecurity in most countries.
Alternatively, people should adopt and accept the two modern and democratic concepts of tolerance and social justice in order to make the world a better place. From the onset of 2023, we have witnessed and experienced more conflicts than peace in Africa and the world over.
In April, one of Africa’s oldest cities, Khartoum was attacked and brought under siege by the Arab military and political elites in Sudan. At the moment, the city of Khartoum is said to be a ghost town.
In 2020, Ethiopia went into a fight pitting the Tigray People’s liberation front and the Federal Government headed by prime minister, Abiy Ahmed. The nascent country South Sudan has repeatedly refused to learn by going the Somalia’s way of fighting the clan and tribal war in the vast country three times bigger than Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda combined.
In West Africa, for instance we have seen and heard a lot of coups taking place with Gabon and Niger being the latest countries affected by the military takeover. Moreover, the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine is intensifying than never before.
In fact, it is like we are living and surviving by the conflict as mentioned in the biblical book of Job 7.1 , which states ‘‘that the purpose of mankind is warfare.’’ However, the painful part is not the conflict but the failure of regional and international institutions mandated to restore peace and stability in the war torn countries. It is true that conflicts are imminent and inevitable because they are part and parcel of human existence.
Nonetheless, the conflict becomes unhealthy part of human existence when they are associated and approached with violence instead of dialogue.
Without much ado, on October 7, I perused a letter authored by the chairperson of the commission of the African Union, Mousa Faki Mahamet, in which he used strong words saying that: ‘‘The chairperson wishes to recall that denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign state, is the main cause of the permanent Israel-Palestine tension.’’
I acknowledged and appreciated my chairman for his timely response in the wake of the Palestine-Israel war. However, when I internalise and analyse his letter, I concluded with justification that he was siding with Palestine in the ongoing war. Reason being he went straight to express the public demand of the Palestine without condemning their violence aggression and provocation against Jewish state of Israel did not portray neutrality.
By doing that, I think he was advancing and advocating the position of Palestinian and Arab community, who often pushes for two states solution to Palestine and Israel conflict. Voltaire once said that ‘‘Judge a man by his question rather than by his answer.’’
When I ascertained the Arab factor in his letter, I got worried and asked whether the African Union is being “Arabized” in favour of the Palestine against Israel or Jewish community? It is impractical to Arabize African Union for whatever reason, and those rooting for that will be in for a rude shock.
In this case, I have two points to make. One, I was expecting Faki, to denounce and condemn violence given violence is not a solution to any modern problem. Although he ended his letter with clarion call to cessation of hostilities, he missed that important point.
Over the years, the Arab community and Palestinians, in particular, avers that the land on which Israel is situated was acquired through occupation by the Israeli with assistance from the United States and United Kingdom; and that Israel’s land belongs to Palestinian, a claim objected and denied by the Israeli and the Western world.
The Israeli, however, believe that the land and the disputed territories are for Israeli by right. You must have heard or learned that the two neighboring states of Israel and Palestine enjoy the observer status accorded by the International community at different times on 14th May 1948, and 15th December 1974 respectively.
By observer status, I mean they are not fully recognized members of the United Nations General Assembly, and thus they cannot fully participate in the key decision making process at the United Nations level. In other words, they are not sovereign states like other states which are members of the United Nations.
In my view, this antagonistic situation requires mediation and dialogue no matter how long it takes. And because Faki did not condemn unprovoked violence, I would like to condemn him for taking a side instead of being impartial for obvious reasons known to all and sundry.
As matter of fact, the African Union cannot be used as a tool of war in the Palestine-Israel conflict for that is not its core mandate and legitimate expectation of the African people.
If anything, the African Union should play the role of neutral arbiter, because taking sides in the Palestine-Israel conflict is not the ideal solution. Two, the African Union is a big force that can just join the rest of the world in finding win-win solution to the perennial Palestine-Israel conflict.
Going forward, African Union should stand firm for peace and justice in the middle East and the world at large. And as its always the case, peace and justice are ascertained by means of judicial arrangements and peace processes where by disputants are given a chance to make their presentations on the conflict in line with the principles of natural justice.
Therefore, imposition and importation of solutions by the African Union and the like is illegal and incorrect in so far as the Palestine-Israel conflict is concern.
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